The face of world mission is about to change dramatically!
This September, Brent Fulton and I were invited to speak in Hong Kong at Mission China 2030—the biggest Chinese missionary-sending initiative in history.
Having spent four years in China, it was a remarkable experience to join with hundreds of Chinese who came together to consider God’s call to mobilize thousands of missionaries from China over the next fifteen years.
Mission China 2030
More than 900 house church pastors and leaders from China gathered around the challenge of planting thousands of churches in China, reaching the hundreds of Chinese minority people groups, and mobilizing at least 20,000 Chinese missionaries by the year 2030.
The number 20,000 is significant, because Chinese Christian leaders estimate that about 20,000 foreign missionaries have been sent to China in the last 200 years. Beijing Pastor Daniel Jin said: “We owe a ‘gospel debt’ to the world. Only when our missions sending surpasses what we have received can China be considered truly a mission-sending country.”
A Window of Opportunity
A recent Lausanne Global Analysis article describes how, in the past, Chinese house churches kept their distance from each other due to security concerns. But a global vision growing in these thousands of churches has overcome fear and isolation and brought people together in a powerful way. Some of the participants had never in their lives been part of such a large gathering of mission-minded Christians. David Ro, Mission China 2030 International Advisor, said this Mission China 2030 conference was “truly a turning point in Chinese church history.”
Brent and I led a workshop on the vital need for Chinese to connect to existing multi-national mission networks already operating in many of the areas where the Chinese church is mobilizing missionaries.
There is a tremendous opportunity not only for Chinese to connect to existing networks, but also to develop new networks and partnerships that can facilitate such a huge mission-sending vision. Because of the isolation or persecution so many Chinese churches have endured in recent history, many are not aware of the significant opportunities for collaboration with the global church.
Here’s one small story that illustrates this need and opportunity:
At the conference, I roomed with a young Chinese woman who leads a house church that is seeking to plant a church among a minority people group. As we talked, I was inspired to share a video about collaboration that tells the true story of a multi-national partnership formed to reach an unreached people group in China.
After watching the video, her eyes lit up and she asked in surprise: “I've never thought there are others also reaching the Z people! How do we find each other?”
The Changing Nature of Partnerships
In the past, many partnerships were made up of Western mission groups, but in the new reality of a globalized church, more partnerships are with Western mission groups, as believers from the majority world are moving out in faith like this emerging wave of Chinese missionaries who are joining the rapidly growing global mission movement seeking to reach the unreached.
This bold vision to mobilize, equip and send 20,000 missionaries in the next fifteen years will only be achieved by a work of God’s Spirit that unites the church to accomplish this God-sized dream together.
Join in praying for the Chinese church and for these visionary pastors and leaders as they take their next steps in obedience to what Jesus has called us to do in Luke chapter 10:
Jesus said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Image credit: visionSynergy
Kärin Butler Primuth is the CEO of visionSynergy, an organization dedicated to the development of mission networks and partnerships which aim to unite the Body of Christ for advance of the gospel among the least reached. Kärin’s vision for collaboration has grown out of 30 years of global ministry experience, having …View Full Bio
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